Zeus statue returned to Italian museum after 30 years

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Two ancient statues stolen in the 1980s from Italian museums, including a bronze statue of the Greek god Zeus, have ben returned home.

The Zeus statue and a marble female torso, both dating from the 1st century, had ended up in the hands of a dealer and a collector in New York, officials told a news conference Friday in Rome.

The torso, from a small museum in Terracina, south of Rome, was on display in a Madison Ave. art gallery when Michele Speranza, a member of the Italian Carabinieri art squad that hunts down stolen artefacts, strolled by when on holiday last year.

The bronze and the torso are each valued at €500,000 (£428,000), authorities said.

The Zeus was stolen from the National Museum in Rome near the capital's main train station in 1980, and was tracked to a New York collector after a photo of it appeared in a Sotheby's auction catalogue in 2006. The art squad methodically studies catalogues of major auction houses.

No arrests have been made in either theft. Authorities said those who owned the statues were unaware of their illegal provenance....

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